I ended up signing up for a free week of Showtime access through Amazon. There weren’t many movies that grabbed my interest except for this one:
Last Knights is a retelling of the legend of the forty-seven ronin. This movie was released two years after 47 Ronin, yet another retelling (starring Keanu Reeves).
Last Knights envisions an implied post-apocalyptic world where new feudalistic society has risen to replace the old world. It appears that there’s a caste system, including a warrior caste of “knights” who support their lords.
I’ve watched about a quarter of the movie and it feels like the samurai movie it obviously is, with knights replacing samurai. The only problem with it so far is that transplanting a samurai movie to a European feels forced, and it’s hard to reconcile the samurai movie with the Euro-fantasy movie transplant. It’s a little like the host body rejecting an organ transplant.
Clive Owens plays Raiden (the name of a Japanese god, btw), a former peasant elevated to a warrior by Morgan Freeman. His lord, Morgan Freeman, is killed by a corrupt nobleman, and the rest of the movie is about him avenging his lord.
I plan on finishing the movie but so far I can understand how it just dropped off the world, like Zoolander 2. I wouldn’t say it’s an outright bad movie, just bland. I’d rather watch movies like 13 Assassins or The Hidden Blade. Interestingly, it has a Japanese director, which could explain why it does genuinely feel like a samurai movie to me. You know, I suspect this would have translated better to a Western than a medieval post-apocalyptic movie.